Damian Lillard desperately wants to win an NBA championship with the Trail Blazers, but he won’t sell himself out to do it.
Lillard says “other stuff” means more to him.
The 28-year-old four-time All-Star is focused on building a legacy in Portland, instead of looking for a way out to chase a title.
Per Yahoo! Sports:
“I do want to win a championship but it’s other stuff that means more to me. It’s almost like I’m not willing to sell myself out for that.”
He’s also started to appreciate those around him, from coaches to trainers to teammates, and what one ripple can do throughout an organization.
“Obviously we all play to win a championship. I want to win a championship. I compete to win a championship. But I’ve learned that it’s about so many other things, the relationships, the impact that you have on other people and their lives, and the impact that you can have on their careers. So, for me, I enjoy that.”
Lillard gave the scenario where if he were to ask out, it would “ruin stuff for other people,” such as moving players to other teams — gutting the roster to rebuild, for example — or waiving players, thereby potentially ending a career. That all doesn’t only impact a player, but an entire family, he pointed out.
“And it could affect too many people for one. Two, you can go somewhere else and you’re not guaranteed to win a championship. So, I mean for reasons like that, I’m just like man, I’m more into where I am as a person, you know, the relationships and the impact that it could have on people … When my career is over I’m going to know the relationships that I’m going to have, I’m going to know the people who knew I was solid with them regardless if it was at the top or if i controlled all this stuff that I did it the right way, that I took people’s situations and their families and what could be into consideration before I just made a decision based off all right this is what would be best for me. This is what people want to see me do.”